I’ve been noticing Oscar-season TV promos that make use of spiritual-uplift music — music that’s not only not heard on the soundtrack of the film being advertised, but which has nothing to do with the mood of the film as a whole. The subdued, gentle choral music in this Zero Dark Thirty spot is an example. Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal‘s film never even flirts with the emotions implied by this accompaniment.
And yet the spot “does the trick” on some level. It suggests that the film might be a lulling, calming mood bath. Or at least partly that.
TV ads for Silver Linings Playbook have done the same thing. I heard one last month that used some kind of rave-up, happy-clap “hey!” song that’s not used in the film, but it sounds good so they used it.